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“A great week away from the UK” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel El Ksar

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Hotel El Ksar
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Boulevard 14 Janvier | Khezama, Sousse 4051, Tunisia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 39 Hotels in Sousse
Wigston, United Kingdom
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A great week away from the UK”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

We spent a week at the Hotel El Ksar in Sousse from 11th-18th November 2012. We were there with another couple, all of us being in our fifties and fairly seasoned travellers. We have been taking overseas trips for about thirty years and have stayed in 50+ three, four and five star all-inclusive hotels, so have a good idea of what makes a good holiday. As someone else stated the El Ksar is not up to the standards of a true four star hotel, but is certainly an excellent three star. There is a program of refurbishment going on and I think that in months to come it will go from strength to strength. I still consider that it was superb value for money and our stay was enjoyable, and most certainly a great week away from the UK.

Staff: On the whole the staff were pleasant, approachable and helpful. The exception to this appeared to be the reception staff who seemed disinterested and rather disobliging (this includes the foreign exchange people). The Info Point staff were excellent and helped us on a couple of occasions (once to have a light fixed in the room, which was done in no time at all, and another time to recover monies given to one of the excursion sellers from the beach (more on this later)). The animation team are tops. There are a lot of them and they try their hardest to make sure that you are enjoying your stay.

WIFI: There is free WIFI throughout the hotel, but as each area has its own router you will need to connect into them as you move about the hotel. We could even pick up a signal in the room, beach and around the pools as well as all internal areas. The exception to this is the new spa.

Room: The room was fairly spacious and although a bit dated was perfectly adequate accommodation for our weeks stay. There is a total of five power points (one in the bathroom and four along the wall opposite the bed (three are taken up by the fridge, TV and lamp)), so a multi point adaptor needs to be taken if you have lots of things requiring recharging. There is a very large digital safe, which is free to use. The cupboard space is generous, but we only had five coat-hangers. Beds were large and comfortable, but the pillows were a tad hard. The only English channel on the TV was BBC News, so a bit of a waste of time. As stated previously, the WIFI signal can be picked up in the room so we listened to our UK local radio station whilst in the room on our Android tablet (BBCi is not available). The room was kept immaculate by the maid who spoke good English and was lovely person, hence a good tip at the end of the stay. You can retain your room at the end, if your flight is later in the day. You normally have to vacate at noon, but you will be charged 10 Dinars per hour you stay in it (let the reception know in the morning of your departure and they will take the money off you then for the extra hours).

Dining: The main restaurant is kept scrupulously clean and there is a great range of food for all meals. Beware that it is not your usual English food - very continental. The food on the whole is well prepared and edible, but the meat sometimes was a little tough. I am one of the world’s fussiest eaters and I always found something to eat and never once left the restaurant felling hungry. The pool bar is a little dirty and shabby, but we had a burger and chips from there and it was fine. The beach bar has a buffet from half past twelve, but to be truthful we tried it once and then decided that as the main restaurant was close enough that we would eat lunch there for the remainder of the holiday. The beach bar is fine if you cannot be bothered dressing to walk the short distance to the main restaurant. The A La Carte restaurant was not worth the trouble. You can have one dinner at this restaurant, but we were not overtly impressed and agreed that we should just have eaten in the main restaurant.

Spa: Don’t get confused like we were into thinking that the spa is the area of the indoor pool to the right of reception. This is the old spa and nothing like the new one. The new one is situated by the bungalows to the left of the hotel. We paid about £220 for six massages which we split up between both couples. This also gave us the use of all of the facilities. This was good value for money and the massages were great.

Pools: There are two main pools. Both are kept immaculate, with plenty of beds and lots of space. The one outside the main restaurant is the one where there is music and the base for the animation team. The other is quieter.

Beach: The beach is a short walk from the main hotel and is lovely and well kept. Again there are plenty of loungers and staff bring the cushions to you. The sea whilst we were there was fairly choppy with large waves and strong undercurrents, so I would be a bit apprehensive if I had children on the beach.

Excursion Sellers: There are three of these guys allowed in the hotel. We booked an excursion for a boat trip and paid in full. The trip was cancelled twice due to choppy seas and after this we could not go on the trip as we had other things booked. We had an absolute nightmare getting our money back. In the end both the Thomas Cook Rep. and the Info Point staff became involved and we eventually got most, not all, of our money returned. To be truthful they are best avoided as most people we spoke too agreed that these trips are poor value for money anyway. We were told by the Info Point staff that these guys will be banned from the hotel as of next year as there are too many problems with them.

Sahara Expedition: We booked this through the Thomas Cook Rep (costs about £70 per person). My advice to anyone would be – do it. It is fantastic value for money and you see lots and do lots. It takes two days and you travel about 700 miles by coach. Included in the trip was a Jeep Safari to the Star Wars set in the desert. This was brilliant. Starts of driving along tracks but you are soon sailing over the tops of dunes and around the sides of them – superb. The Star Wars set is small but not a bad end to the trip. One point to remember is that there is the dirtiest loo in the world at the set, which they demand one Dinar to use. Go before you depart on the safari. There is also a camel ride over the desert (into the beautiful sunset) and a horse and cart ride to an oasis. They are not included in the price of the excursion, but only cost twenty-seven Dinars per couple. You stay in a four star hotel overnight which was fine with decent food. Both mornings are early starts, but well worth it.

Money: The hotel exchanges your money, but will not change it back to Sterling. It is definitely best changing a little at a time. As everyone expects to be tipped you will need lots of one Dinars, but the hotel exchange seem loathe to do this for you, even when you tell them that it is for tips. We were told that we could change the money back at the airport, but we could not. This may have been due to us flying out on a Sunday. We could not even spend the Dinars in the Duty Free shops as they will not accept them (the food stalls do).

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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779 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012 via mobile

Not much to do in Sousse, people arrogant and some rude. Cats in hotel and resteraunt. Staring at you whilst your eating! Not very hygienic! Even near the pool outside, youl be sat having a bite to eat and next thing cats will come staring wanting food! That really spoilt it for me! Overall ok food average, always same. Dont think il be going back to Tunisia.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Me my girlfriend and our son went here and from the day we arrived till the day we left we were treat like a king and queen the staff from here are the best staff I've ever met in my whole life unreal is the word so helpful the hotel was out of this world not one bit of dust to be found and even tho the hotel was going threw a modnisation we were very well looked after and it was kept clean food was lovely great mixture of food and drinks there was a shock that a night club was also in the hotel in the basement great entertainment from the team there would happily return to this hotel

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen Scotland
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Let me start this review by stating that this hotel is a good 3 star hotel but not 4 star.
They do seem to be refurbishing this hotel which ,in my opinion, is needed as the place seems to be a bit tired.
The food was not the best and for vegetarians quite poor.
Rooms were of a standard size but perfectly adequate
However did not expect to have to rent a fridge.
That is all the negative stuff.
Now to the positives.
The staff were all very friendly but special mention must be made to Mongi who my grandson thought was the bees knees ( so did granma & granda ) and Leila at the bar.
Whilst there tried the Jungle Park which is in the hotel grounds.
The park is a kind of obstacle course between trees with zip lines etc.
Here yet again all the staff were great and paid close attention to safety.
Ahmed deserves special praise for the patience shown to my slightly nervous grandson.
I found the location of the hotel to be just fine.
10-15 minute stroll to the Tej Marhaba shopping centre.
Taxis cost 5 dinars ,about 2 pounds,to the Medina in Sousse
7 Dinars to Port El Kantoui.
Overall this hotel is OK but with a few tweeks could justify its 4 star rating.
Sorry nearly forgot.
Our maid Monia was fabulous.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

We arrived at the end of October 2012 and whilst the customer service was average, we were blown away when we found out the hotel had been taken over by a German company on 1st November 2012 and immediately the standard of customer service was superb.
The staff now put in that extra effort to be extra friendly and say "hello" to you at every opportunity.
The hotel has some superb facilities but is a little run down, but in the first few days of November, improvements were being made: interior stair railings being painted, new paving flags being laid to the beach, fresh flower arrangement on the bar.
Whilst the hotel hosts a lot of German guests, the Brits tend to stick together and there is a great British friendly atmosphere. Met some extremely lovely people of all ages.
We found the food great - at the end of the day you don't go abroad to eat the same stuff you have at home. Breakfast croissants are the best we've EVER tasted. All freshly baked in front of your eyes. My only advice would be STEER CLEAR OF THE SALADS which are absolutely lovely, tempting and tasty, but I got 3 day bug/diorrhea from eating salad, as they wash it in normal tap water which we can't stomach. If the hotel management read this, perhaps you could start to wash salad in bottled water, and promote and market that to guests.
Rooms are kept extremely clean by the diligent and friendly housekeeping staff.
Entertainment team are great - you can either join in, or not bother, and they are so friendly as they love to speak and learn English by talking to you.
We didn't go out of the hotel complex (only to the private beach) as I wasn't confident enough to take on the usual hassle you get in North Africa.
Sufficient sun beds by pools for all, however I did find them a little bony and recommend the hotel get them re-strung. I found the beach beds were more comfortable, being of the older plastic type, and more supportive, especially with the free yellow mattress on top!
Didn't use the spa facilities.
I would love to return to this hotel in the future, if only to see how the new company turn the place around.

Room Tip: You don't spend much time in the room, so don't get hung up about it. If you don't get...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

this hotel makes for a pleasant stay,i found it to be a little too quite on a night time but was very clean and food was very nice lots of fish, meat and salads ect sweets were to die for and fruit every day to.rooms were tidy and clean.lots of sunbeds so no fighting on a morning so was a refreshing change.tip were given but not expected which was a change to other hotels in tunisia.my only disappointment was it was advertised as a lively hotel which led me to believe that there would be alot going on later on a night the staff did try and get you involved but my idea of a good night isnt salsa.ideal place for couples or thous wanting a quite holiday,there was a kids club but didnt seem alot going on but there wasnt many kids there to be fair.plenty sporting activitys all day but if thats not your bag then you may be stuck.i went with my elderly mother so all suited me down to the ground..

Room Tip: all rooms much the same and i found to be quite for sleeping as the rooms have a inner door to block...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrington, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

Just had a great week at this hotel but that was mainly because of great friends as the hotel, location and food is very average.
Port el kantoui much nicer or better still hammamet.
Weather was changeable although warm.
A couple of days were rainy an cloudy.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Ksar

Address: Boulevard 14 Janvier | Khezama, Sousse 4051, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
#11 Luxury Hotel in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel El Ksar 4*
Number of rooms: 552
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Capturing the magic and mystery of the Mediterranean Sea El Ksar Resort & Thalasso is located on a private sandy beach surrounded by generous gardens. The hotel offers plenty of activities such as mini golf, bridge, table tennis, Volleyball, tennis, shooting centre, jungle park, four outdoor pools, one indoor pool and many more. The beautiful yacht port “Port El Kantaoui” is only a few kilometers away.Featuring 552 comfortable and elegant rooms, junior suites and 1 presidential suite, inlcuding family rooms which interconnect. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Karthago El Ksar Sousse
Karthago El Ksar Hotel Sousse

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